Where I look at the final songs of some bands/hip hop artists that I like and select some really stellar ones in my opinion. I pulled from musical groups that had a song on my decades long curated, My Top Rated Apple Playlist (which have songs that I’ve given either a 4 or 5 star rating to). So this is based on music that I owned pre-internet, so not an exhaustive list of great last songs, that would be an impossible task to accomplish.

I have some fuzzy math regarding the “last song” category here. If a band came out with an album much later in their career (10 plus years or so, Blur and Urge Overkill fall into this category) I ignore that last song. I basically end up when these bands stopped working together at their peak, not on a late career cash grab or comeback album, cause those always suck.

Soul Coughing/”The Incumbent” off of the album El Oso

El Oso

Soul Coughing are possibly the most under-rated band of the 1990’s. They released three albums, all of them are great and called it quits. They blended a jazzy and hip/hop inflected sound into an intriguing sort of alternative music that is quite unique and doesn’t sound like anyone before or since.

“The Incumbent” might even be their best song! So they go out on a truly high note. Everything that’s great about the band is on display here, just thumping working by the rhythm section, nice odd ball sampling and good spoken work nonsense by Mike Doughty.

“New York New York, I won’t go back indelible reminder of the steel I lack, I gave you seven years what did you give me back, a jaw-grind disposition to a panic attack”.

Also, bonus points for their breakup, they just basically hated each other.

Urge Overkill/”Digital Black/Epilogue” off of the album Exit the Dragon

Exit The Dragon

These Chicago based rockers met at Northwestern University and had some minor radio hits in the late 80’s and early 90’s. They also did a great cover of Neil Diamond’s song “Girl You’ll Be A Woman Soon” (what a creepy song title) that featured prominently in Pulp Fiction.

“Digital Black/Epilogue” is pretty experimental for these guys but it just sticks the landing, a fantastic song. They have released 2 albums since Exit the Dragon (which is a great album too) but the next one was 16 years later, so it doesn’t count to me in this exercise.

They initially broke up because their two main songwriters/vocalists Nash Kate and Eddie “King” Roeser didn’t like each other anymore at all.

Blur/”Battery in Your Leg” off the album Think Tank

Think Tank

Blur released Think Tank in 2003 and 12 years later released The Magic Whip, so “Battery in Your Leg” fits for this exercise. Their lead guitarist Graham Coxon quit the band but contributed guitar to this song and it’s just a subtle stunner of a song. It makes one wish he was present for the rest of the album.

The reason for the break-up? Surprise Surprise the fellas weren’t getting along anymore.

Erik B. & Rakim/”Kick Along” off the album Don’t Sweat the Technique

Eric B closer, Rakim further away

“Kick Along” is just a good gritty East Coast NYC song.

From the Apple blurb concerning the album Don’t Sweat the Technique, “By the time Don’t Sweat the Technique appeared in 1992, Eric B. & Rakim were divorced in everything but name.”

They never tried some half-assed reunion, this was it for the them together.

Outkast/”A Bad Note” off the album Idlewild

Idlewild was also a movie

So this was a soundtrack of original music for the film Idlewild. “A Bad Note” is a nod to the song “Maggot Brain” in my opinion. Andre 3000 was exploring more of a Funkadelic type sound and had lost his passion for rapping by this point.

A pretty stunning last song for them considering their other musical output, but really great nonetheless.

They never did or will get back together, but still remain good friends from all accounts.

Pavement/”…And Carrot Rope” off the album Terror Twilight

Pavement, not made out of concrete

Stephen Malkmus wanted to go solo by this point so this was the last album. There have been some concert reunion tours, but thankfully no more music.

“…And Carrot Rope” is kind of like classic Pavement, a jaunty song with some musical changeups, it’s just a really good song. Their last.

The Police/”Murder By Numbers”off of the album Synchronicity

Sting looks so punchable on this cover lol

I’m not a huge fan of The Police but this is easily their best album and “Murder By Numbers” is a really good song.

They definitely hated the fuck out of each other by this point and tried to do another album but Stewart Copeland fell off a horse and broke his collarbone and they never tried again. They did cash in for a reunion tour, thankfully without another album.

Sting would go on to produce one for the worst solo careers of all-time.

Portishead/”Threads” off the album Third


So Third came out 11 years after their two seminal 90’s albums and it ended up being their best album in my opinion.

“Threads” is possibly the best song they ever made. There was no Fourth, this was it, but they did and still perform live some.

The Smiths/”I Won’t Share You” off of the album Strangeways, Here We Come

Strangeways, Here We Come

“I Won’t Share You” has funny Morrissey lyrics, solid musicianship and is just a great song.

A lot of their major hits were singles and not off their albums but a nice end to their brief yet fruitful career.

Morrissey would go solo, Johnny Marr would participate in a number of other musical projects as well after the band dissolved. Morrissey and Marr were fed up with one another by the end and no more reunions or musical output ever materialized.

Talking Heads/”Popsicle” off the album Sand In The Vaseline

I’m sensing a theme

So the actual album title is Popular Favorites 1976-1992: Sand In The Vaseline which makes it a greatest hits album, but it did include some new tunes “Popsicle” being one of them and also, conveniently for me, being the last song on the album as well.

“Popsicle” is a terrific song, that fits in with the terrific output of this groundbreaking band, who fucking hated each other by the time they broke up.

David Byrne would go solo and the other three members would go on to produce some and pop up occasionally here and there. They would never appear live together again.

The Walkmen/”Dreamboat” off of the album Heaven

The Walkmen

“Dreamboat” is a great last song from an under-rated band that sprang out of the late 90’s aughts indie music boom.

Frontman Hamilton Leithauser has gone on to have an interesting and successful solo career. No new music but they recently reunited for some shows.